Take 5: JDR's Gaming Conclusions - 04/10/19

October 4, 2019

A regular look at gaming-related stories from the past week or so whereby conclusions are drawn from anything and everything. These may be incredibly well reasoned based on events from the week. Alternatively, they may be highly speculative, drawn from very little evidence. More likely, they will be somewhere in between.

Conclusion One: Sony's PlayStation 5 Plans Include AI Assistance

So, it would seem that Sony is changing the game when it comes to the PlayStation 5, as you'd hope and expect a leading games hardware manufacturer to do for a new genereation of home console. But with the latest information we can surmise better what those changes might be.

Sony has had a patent published which talks about a voice assistant in game. This will probably be used at the front end too, on the dashboard, an improved version of the current vice controls if you like and akin to Amazon's Alexa or Google's assistant. In game is where the magic could lie though, perhaps it can help you find a solution to a puzzle, or strategies to defeat the boss or locate hidden areas full of goodies. It basically brings all the web content into the game if Sony and the developer decides that's a good thing.

Combined with the streaming push (read more on that further down!) then it's clear that Sony's PlayStation 5 strategy will involve intelligent assistance and the cloud to unlock more ways of playing for everyone. Consider us excited.

Conclusion Two: Zelda’s Switch domination continues

Nintendo knows when it’s onto a winner. Zelda games have been a staple of the company for decades now, and Breath of the Wild helped the Switch become the fastest-selling console in the US, ever. 

So it comes as no surprise to learn that The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, a remake of the 1993 Game Boy title, has become the fastest-selling Switch game of 2019 so far. Nintendo certainly isn’t shy about telling us.

So what next for Link and the titular princess? The RPG gravy train shows no sign of stopping any time soon. There’s already a sequel to Breath of the Wild planned and it may even hit next year, given it’s been in development since 2017 and is likely to use many of the assets of the first game. And with the success of this handheld remake, Nintendo will surely start eyeing up other titles in its Zelda back catalogue for more possible hits. They’d be silly not to.

Conclusion Three: Sony finally does something useful with PS Now

Like an awkward middle child, PS Now has struggled to get itself noticed thanks to the established might of the Xbox Game Pass and the shiny new arrival of Google Stadia. But the streaming service is finally getting a bit of love from Sony who announced this week that there will be a price cut alongside some huge titles available for a limited period, including the excellent God of War.

If you already have PS Now, you can expect to see a cheaper bill from next month. Whether these changes will solve the latency issues which have plagued the service is another matter, but at least you can download games to your PS4, or stream them from either your PS4 or PC. In an article for Wired, it was also quietly revealed that cross-play is now out of beta, a far cry from a year ago, when Sony steadfastly refused to let PS4 owners play with friends who had the same game on other formats. Happy days indeed!

For all the details of the updated PS Now service, click here.

Conclusion Four:  Don’t buy a gaming controller for your phone

Well, if you planned on playing Call of Duty: Mobile, anyway. Despite the game being shipped with support for controllers when it launched on Tuesday, that support was short-lived.

It seems that the latest update to the game has removed all controller support, and this was fully intentional (although whether the initial support was also intentional remains to be seen). Activision support has confirmed in a tweet that you’ll have to stick to your fingers, or perhaps keyboard and mouse controls, if you want to headshot some noobs over your iOS or Android device.

Still, we know the power of the internet and the power of the consumer often combine to make a formidable opponent, much like a Megazord. Our money is on controller support making a quiet reappearance to CoD: Mobile in the not-too-distant future.

Conclusion Five: You can see your game idea on the big (or small) screen

Think your game is good enough to turn into a film, book or television show? If so, the UK’s leading independent film and TV finance company Goldfinch wants to hear from you. They are currently looking for ten different projects that use the Unreal Engine, to turn them into one form or another of storytelling media, including short films, graphic novels and podcasts.

“We’re looking to expand upon the tales of compelling heroes and absorbing worlds being told within the gaming landscape. Our desire is to turn these 10 IP’s, built within the Unreal Engine, into feature films, TV series or episodic short form content, exposing their rich narratives and characters an even larger audience.” Goldfinch COO Phil McKenzie.

The company certainly has the financial clout to support exciting endeavours like this, since it has poured $300m into the industry over the years, with many of its projects winning awards. Games on the big screen may not have fared well critically over the years, but there are plenty of exciting indie projects out there which would be ripe for translating to the silver screen.

The deadline for submissions is October 31st, 2019, and you can submit your ideas here.

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Rob Kershaw

I've been gaming since the days of the Amstrad. Huge RPG fan. Planescape: Torment tops my list, but if a game tells a good story, I'm interested. Absolutely not a fanboy of any specific console or PC - the proof is in the gaming pudding. Also, I like cake.